The Next Ride: Sunday 21 September 2014 – Dell Quay Mark II

10 September 2014

Chichester – Centurion Way – West Stoke – Fishbourne – Dell Quay (for lunch) – Salterns Marina – Chichester Ship Canal Basin (for tea)

We meet at the south side of Chichester railway station at 11.15am and then go round over the railway level crossing to the north side to start riding on the cycle track from the car park.  After a mile we begin a northward ride on the Centurion Way and in about three miles we take the West Stoke Road which has a gentle rise until the middle of the village.  We turn south down Lye Lane and on down until we go round the north and east of Fishbourne then passing under the A27.  We take the Apuldram road and soon reach the Crown and Anchor Public House at Dell Quay.

After lunch we take the Salterns Way track south and cross over the Salterns Marina lock gates to reach the Chichester Ship Canal.  At the end of the Marine Entrance road we ride along the towpath on the east side of the canal until we cross over the Poyntz canal footbridge, from where there is a distant view of Chichester Cathedral apparently surrounded by green fields and trees and no sign of any urbanisation.  The ride ends at the Canal Basin where there is a fine tea facility.


Trains:  Brighton 10.00 and Hove 10.04 arriving at 10.56.  Victoria 9.17 arriving at 11.02.

Meet on the south side of Chichester railway station at 11.15

Terrain:  a gentle gradient up to West Stoke, then downhill to the north of Fishbourne, and thereafter mainly flat.

Roads:  a mixture of cycle tracks, footpaths along the canal side, and quiet country roads.

There are four busy roads to cross:  B2178 SE of Ashling, A259 in Fishbourne, A286 at Cutfield Bridge and B2201 at Crosbie Bridge.  However, we do not have to cycle along them.

Lunch:  at the Crown and Anchor, Dell Quay.

Distance:  16 miles – see O/S Explorer Map 120 “Chichester” (1:25000)

Tea: by the Chichester Ship Canal Basin, just south of the railway station.

Return trains times to:

Hove: 16.15, 16.29S, 16.53S, 17.15
Brighton: 16.15C, 16.29S, 16.53S, 17.15C
Victoria: 16.15N, 16.29SC, 16.53SC, 17.15N

C: change at Hove, with only 4 stops before Hove
S: stops at all stations
N: no changes: only 4 stops before Hove, also stops at Clapham Junction

My mobile number is:  0789 635 3563


The last ride: 9 June 2013 – West of Chichester

13 June 2013

The Rediscovered Country from whose Bournes 10 Travellers Return

Actually 11+ met at Chichester station as our youngest ever Clarionette was there with his mum and dad, Joan and TJ – the tiny new arrival, Nye, and what a delight to see them. He had his pram so Joan had no bike, but joined us at Emsworth for lunch and teatime at Chichester Canal’s new shop. Angelica had also taken the train from London, with Rob, Mick and Anne driving and Richard, Roger, Tessa, Julian and David taking various Southern ‘expresses’.


Some of us had been on previous rides out that way and others rediscovered the Bournes from sailing days, but every Clarion ride is different with the changing seasons, weather and company.  Weather forecasts had been showing consistently sunny for days but when we awoke the same chilly east wind was blowing and no sun appeared from the white sky, so warm clothes were worn by almost all, David and TJ favouring shorts and Mick zipping off his zip-offs once warmed up and some sympathy expressed for the World Naked Bike Riders back in Brighton.

Roger led us along the South Coast Cycle Path out of the city into the countryside, under and over the railway lines and motorway 3, 4 or more times. The unguarded crossing with gates is being replaced by a bridge where work has now started  and finish times were said to be three weeks, though this was greeted with scepticism by a builder working there and certain of our members. After Fishbourne we saw three tiny lapwing chicks on the road with two anxious parents wheeling overhead.

We reached Bosham at what was agreed to be high tide in Brighton, Hove and Shoreham, but apart from a few puddles, were unimpeded by being almost entirely surrounded by water. Having not taken the usual group pic at the station, we paused at Nutbourne Marshes to drink in the peace and take some pics. 


A few of us made a brief side-tour to the artillery barracks entrance guarded by a tracked rocket launcher.

Cycling swiftly onto Southbourne warmed me up and I stopped at a crossroads to remove winter garb and bare my arms. Mick then got a phone call, so we both awaited the main group in a lay-by with three fields of shaggy ponies, which looked as if they may be used for pulling traps. There was a large van behind their field plastered with a picture of a camel and the letters CTC. Those camels keep cropping up in the most unexpected places on Clarion rides and beginning to wonder if CTC stands for Camel Touring Company. Maybe they’re preparing for global warming, certainly less polluting than cars and more fun! Here we saw a buzzard being dive-bombed by two crows.

CTC =Camels Touring Club[?]

Having been on Roger’s previous ride when we missed Thorney Island, I was delighted that we found it this time, with its charming cottages and peaceful lanes. Back on the road again we arrived at The Ship Inn, Emsworth, for lunch where Joan and Nye awaited us. Food was excellent value and arrived promptly; six veg + 2 sorts of potatoes with the small roasts for £6.75, thick veg soups, and various fishy dishes and fry-ups, as well as several takers for the puddings.

baby Nye aat lunch with TJ & Joan.

We rode off again along the delightful Lumley Road with a brook running alongside on our left, in front of pretty cottages, until the small waterfall and the elegant blue and white Lumley Mill House and its garden.

Lumley Road group-Annes'pic

Passing through the gates of the house the track became rougher and soon we were on a footpath alongside a large field. It was a narrow path along the field edge parallel to the A27 and seemed very long, a bit too long for some of us, who got lost in its longness. It was quite testing and tough to admire the views as you needed to concentrate on the ground beneath your wheels in order not to be thrown off into the luxuriant barley crop. I was quite relieved that there were still 10 of us, who eventually emerged onto a real road south of Westbourne, with some extra help from Roger. I do remember it from a previous Clarion ride, when I walked and pushed and relaxed more.

irresistible pigs

After Woodmancote the road undulated with roadside verges bright with spring blossom and trees full of varied birdsong. Julian heard a greater spotted woodpecker and “a little bit of bread and no cheese” sung by a chaffinch. There was hardly any traffic and I was able to spot some irresistible pigs and piglets over the road and stopped to snap them. Rob, acting as backstop, accompanied me and enquired about the tall wooden tower near the pig farm. The owner said it was an experimental radar tower from 2nd World War, which he was trying to turn into a spectacular home, though the planners were objecting. Back on the road Rob wondered why we couldn’t see Chichester Cathedral from this vantage point south of West Ashling, but it must have been because Spring had finally arrived and we were so used to the bare branches of that long winter, though still not sunny.

wooden radar tower

Warm enough though to enjoy a cup of tea at the new and enlarged Chichester Old Ship Canal Basin tea-shop where Joan and Nye rejoined us. David bought some excellent fair trade cookies which we shared, bringing the trip to a convivial conclusion. Thanks very much to Roger for leading us for about 19 miles to the Bournes and back again. No “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” in guise of punctures, nor “Sea of troubles” by way of high tide at Bosham sweeping in on us, but 11+ wanderers wended our way homeward.


See a video of the ride by Rob

The Next Ride: Sunday 7 April: Centurion Way, Dell Quay, Salterns Way, and Chichester Canal

25 March 2013

Just a short way up Centurion Way, then off down, initially, the B2178 south to Fishbourne , a short stretch of the old main road and down to Dell Quay for lunch at the Crown and Anchor.* Then the Salterns Way cycle route down to the Salterns Marina, over the swing bridge and back via the Chichester Canal with probably time for a tea stop at the open-air café at in the canal basin.

Catch the 10.30 from Brighton Station, 10 34 from Hove or meet at Chichester Station at 11.25. Best trains back seem to be the  15.23, 15 23 or  16 23  

My mobile number is 07770743287   It will be switched on!

* I’ve never tried to “book” at the Crown and Anchor in the past – we’ve always gone there in the spring or summer and usually sat outside in the sunshine where there are masses of tables.  This time – with winter threatening to last until next autumn – I’m going to wait until a few days before and see what the forecast looks like before deciding whether to get in touch.


The Last Ride –Tessa’s Report

18 June 2012

Saturday 16 June – Centurion Way, Dell Quay, Chichester Ship Canal.

Jim, Roger, Sean and Sue boarded the train at Brighton station. By the time Tessa joined them at Hove a lively debate/discussion had taken place around the subject of the Queen, prompted by Jim’s comments in the last report. It was all over by Shoreham when Tessa actually joined them in the carriage, having been ousted from hers by a wheelchair arrival.

1. The Start

We were met by Ian and promptly set off on the Centurion Way after a passer by took our photo. A slight delay while Ian returned to check that his car was locked, but we were happy waiting, relaxing in the windy sunshine. Marguerites were in bloom and they were waving in the wind as we passed the site of the Roman amphitheatre flanked by the metal Centurion sculptures, ‘A distinct lack of signage’ was Jim’s bugbear of today, and he was right- unless you knew it was a Roman amphitheatre there was nothing to tell you.

3. Centurions

Once off the Centurion way, we headed for Fishbourne, weaving over and under the A27. We turned onto Dell Quay Road and into even stronger wind, so the sewage farm we passed was a mere whiff. The Crown and Anchor was a welcome sight. Beside the blackboard signs outside the pub advertising football matches being screened etc was another announcing ‘ Coming soon- Summer’

5. Dell Quay

We had planned to eat outdoors but both food and conversation would have been blown away. Our indoor table was presided over by a very large photograph of the Queen Mother pulling a pint. Jim was persuaded to pose, smiling, with an arm extended towards it, in an embrace.

4. In The Pub

8. Salterns Copse

After lunch we joined the Salterns Way past Apeldram airfield, a wartime landing strip, now a field of wheat. We passed through Chichester Marina and joined the canal footpath where we were at last protected from the wind. We passed canoes, coots and water lilies in the beautiful afternoon light, on a narrow muddy track. When the footpath became a cycle route, the surface improved and the canal scenery gave way to ducks, swans, a rowing boat and a canal cruiser. Somewhere along the path Sue managed to gather a pannierful of elderflower heads, destined to become cordial when she got home.

12. Chichester Canal (1)

Tea was at the delightful Canal Basin tea stop before we left Ian and boarded the train home. Maybe because the ride had been flat and short, there was energy for more conversation, again focussed on the Queen, the Royal Prerogative and Nuclear proliferation. The journey passed quickly!

Thank you Ian for a delightful ride on nearly a summer’s day!